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Take these two recently-created Area 51 proposals:

App Store

  • Created: 27 March
  • Followers: 5
  • Questions: 9
  • Views: 38
  • Definition phase progress: 2%

Spinal Muscular Atrophy

  • Created: 24 March
  • Followers: 54
  • Questions: 37
  • Views: 450
  • Definition phase progress: 29%

When I look at the Hottest Proposals tab, out of 510 total open proposals:

  • App Store is #1
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy is #509
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App Store got a lot of traffic recently. No idea where from. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/84907/feed-gaping-maw – random Mar 28 '11 at 2:28
1  
@random - I added view count to the question. I can't figure out any heuristic by which SMA could be considered the penultimate in hotness compared to all site proposals. – Dori Mar 28 '11 at 2:33
    
Maybe SMA is just wasting away due to the secret hotness algorithm – random Mar 28 '11 at 2:48
    
may be hotness only counts today/yesterday's activities, OR just comparing ratio between yesterday and today activities, since he proposed App Store today, eg., 9 activity means 9x hotter than yesterday. – YOU Mar 28 '11 at 2:52
    
@YOU - Now, come up with a theory which explains why this proposal (or this, this, this, this, this, this, this, or this) is hotter. – Dori Mar 28 '11 at 3:10
up vote 2 down vote accepted

This should be better now. Hotness is determined roughly the same way as commitment score: we look at the cross-site reputation of the users that have followed / committed to the site, and how long ago they did so. The main difference is that the decay is a lot faster for hotness.

In this case, however, we were missing a term in the equation that meant we were way undervaluing low-rep users. That part is fixed now, so Spinal Muscular Atrophy is on the front page again. However, App Store still ranks above it because it has attracted much higher-rep users (who are much more likely to make the proposal & site succeed).

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